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Biden competes for delegates in Minnesota, long-shot challenger Dean Phillips home state

Minnesota Secretary of State visits polling place as voters cast ballots for 2024 Presidential Nominating Primary. Light turnout reported.

Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon made a visit to election workers at Dayton's Bluff Recreation Center, a polling place in Ramsey County, as voters cast their ballots for the 2024 Presidential Nominating Primary on Tuesday, March 5, 2024, in St. Paul, Minnesota.

The turnout was light on Super Tuesday in Minnesota, where President Joe Biden was vying for delegates against challenger Dean Phillips in his home state, and former President Donald Trump was up against Nikki Haley for the state's Republican convention votes. Minnesota has a total of 75 Democratic and 39 Republican national convention delegates. Despite being one of the smaller states participating in the Super Tuesday primaries, Minnesota received little attention, even from Phillips, who represents a congressional district in the Minneapolis suburbs. Haley was the only candidate to make an in-person campaign appearance, drawing several hundred people to her rally at a Bloomington hotel.

Although Trump did not visit Minnesota for the primary, he made waves during a phone interview with KNSI radio in St. Cloud on Monday when he claimed that he believed he won the state in the 2022 general election, echoing his baseless claims of victory nationwide. In reality, Trump lost Minnesota by over 7 percentage points to Biden. However, he came within 1.5 points of defeating Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2018 and expressed his intention to make a strong push to win the state in the upcoming November election. The last Republican presidential candidate to carry Minnesota was Richard Nixon in 1972.

The Biden campaign sent Doug Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, to Minnesota last week. Emhoff participated in a fundraiser, visited Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to showcase the administration's investments in transportation infrastructure, and paid tribute to three slain first responders in Burnsville.

In suburban Eden Prairie, voters shared their perspectives on the primary. Health care executive Molly Menton, 40, expressed her preference for Biden over Phillips, citing his qualifications and track record. Retirees Chuck and Carol Thomas, former creative directors in advertising, also voiced their support for Biden, emphasizing his experience and ability to defeat Trump. Meanwhile, Pam Hulstrand, a minister, voted for Haley on the Republican side, applauding her leadership qualities and conservative stance on moral issues.

At Crosspoint Church in Bloomington, Craig Brandt explained his vote for Trump, believing he is the best candidate to steer the country in the right direction. Sarah Alfaham, of Bloomington, opted for "uncommitted" in the Democratic primary and expressed disappointment with Biden's handling of certain issues, indicating a willingness to consider a third-party candidate in November.

Overall, the 2024 Presidential Nominating Primary in Minnesota showcased a diverse range of perspectives and priorities among voters, reflecting the political landscape of the state.

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